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Learn which payroll report you should file.

What Payroll Reports Do You Need to File?

There are numerous forms to fill out when it comes to running payroll. Among these are payroll report forms.

Do you know what payroll reports are? Find out what they are used for, what reports you should worry about, and when they are due.

What is a payroll report?

A payroll report is a form you use to notify governments of employment tax liabilities. There are different forms for the various employment taxes that you and your employees must pay.

You must report both the taxes you withhold from employee wages and the taxes you contribute to. And, you’ll need to submit payroll reports for both federal and state taxes.

Payroll report definition

Types of payroll reports

Some taxes have their own forms while others are combined onto one form. Also, you will file some reports annually and other reports quarterly.

Below is a rundown of the forms you need to submit for payroll reporting compliance.

Quarterly payroll reports

Here are the payroll quarterly reports you need to file.

Form 941

Use Form 941 to report federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. You will also report employee wages on the form.

You must withhold federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from employees wages. You must also pay a matching portion for Social Security and Medicare taxes.

File Form 941 every quarter. The form is due by the last day of the month following the end of a quarter. For example, the first quarter ends March 31. The last day of the month following the end of the quarter is April 30. Therefore, you must submit your first quarter Form 941 by April.

Here is a full list of Form 941 deadlines:

  • For the first quarter, file by April 30.
  • For the second quarter, file by July 31.
  • For the third quarter, file by October 31.
  • For the fourth quarter, file by January 31.

State payroll reports

Many state payroll reports are quarterly reports. This includes reports for state income taxes and state unemployment taxes.

While most states require you to report taxes on a quarterly basis, you should still check with your state for specific rules. Some states might require you to file state payroll reports on a more or less frequent basis.

Also, due dates are different across states. For example, one state might require you to file a quarterly form by the end of the following month, while another state might require you to file a similar form by the 15th day of the following month.

Annual payroll reports

Below are the annual payroll reports you should file.

Form 944

Some employers might be able to use Form 944 instead of Form 941. Form 944 is used to report federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes on an annual basis.

Only qualified employers can use Form 944. The IRS will tell you if you are qualified. If you don’t have IRS authorization to file Form 944, you must use Form 941 instead.

If you can file Form 941, it is due by January 31 of the following year. For your 2017 liabilities, Form 941 is due by January 31, 2018.

Form 940

You must file Form 940 to report federal unemployment tax (FUTA tax). Only you pay FUTA tax. Form 940 is due by January 31 of the following year.

Forms W-2 and W-3

Form W-2 is a form you must give to each employee, as well as federal and state governments. It lists the employee’s wages and tax withholdings for the year. Each employee gets one so they can file their individual tax return. And, governments get copies to verify wage and tax amounts.

You must give Form W-2 to your employees and applicable governments by January 31 for the wages and taxes paid the previous year.

Form W-3 is the transmittal form for Form W-2. This form summarizes the information on all your employees’ Forms W-2. You must send Form W-3 to federal and state governments when you send all your Forms W-2. This means it is due by January 31, sent with the Forms W-2.

Using a full-service payroll software can simplify filing payroll reports. Patriot’s payroll services can file and remit employment taxes for you, freeing up your time. Try the software for free.

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